Driver Profile: Josh Hart
- Occupation: Self Employed
- Residence: Ocala, Florida
- Family: Wife, Brittanie
- Began Racing: 2011
- Quickest ET: 5.17 Seconds
- Fastest MPH: 278
- Hobbies: Burning Rubber... And pushing the limits of the law when it came to driving until he found NHRA
Click for race day images
- 1999: Got Drivers License
- 2000: Blew Up Family Car
- 2001: Learned How To Do A Burnout
- 2002: Learned How To Do A Donut
- 2003: Learned How To Drive A Manual
- 2004: Speeding Tickets
- 2005: Unsafe Start-Burnout
- 2007: Speeding Ticket
- 2008: Speeding Ticket
- 2009: Speeding Ticket
- 2010: First Test and Tune at NHRA Track
- 2011: Footbrake Winner
- 2012: 10.0 Class Winner
- 2013: Super Comp Winner
- 2014: Top Dragster Winner
- 2015: Earned Top Alcohol Dragster License
- 2016: TAD Event Winner
- 2017: TAD Event Winner, Points Champion
- 2018: TAD Event Winner
Josh Hart: The American Dream on Steroids
Published by: Drag Racer Magazine, Written by: Pete Ward
Josh Hart went from piloting a 13 sec. Ford Pickup to a 5 sec. A/Fuel dragster in six short years…all the while, creating Burnyzz Speed Shop a burgeoning “do it all” automotive empire.
Prior to 2009, Josh owned a successful asphalt paving company in Fort Wayne, IN. Growing tired of the vagaries of Midwestern weather, he and wife Brittanie did a thorough search for more hospitable climes. Location selected, the business was sold, and off they went to…Ocala, FL. Once in Ocala, Josh began participating in “extracurricular” racing activities as he had in Indiana. New friend, Gene Selby, convinced him to go legit; take his considerable driving skills and Ford Lightning to NHRA’s fabled Gainesville, FL. facility. What followed for the next five years was a succession of faster and faster race cars.
In 2013, Remo DiGenova relinquished the seat in his S/C dragster to Josh, who, at the jump, bettered Remo’s performance. Soon he was the S/C’s owner, eventually converting it to a Big Block powered 7 sec. Top Dragster.
Lusting for yet more, in 2015 Josh began his preparation for A/Fuel. A year later, he was wheeling a new 295 inch Dan Page built dragster, powered by an injected nitro burning BAE Hemi. A shrewd judge of talent, Josh recruited Gene Gallant as crew chief. Gene, brother of renowned NHRA champion Art Gallant, had labored in his brother’s shadow for years. Gene proved to be up to the task. In his first season, Josh missed finishing in second place by one point, in the ultra-competitive NHRA Division Two TAD competition. Josh and Gene are assisted by Gene’s brother, Donny, John Kohlweiss, Robert Mullins, Mike Marko and most especially Josh’s wife of 15 years, Brittanie. Flying the Advanced Auto Parts colors this season, Josh and team are making serious noise. As of this article, they’re three for three in capturing the #1 qualifying position, including NHRA’s Norwalk, OH national event.
What helped to make all this possible? Josh and Brittanie’s Burnyzz’s Speed Shop. Starting out as a modest 2000 sq. ft. operation envisioned to be a low key, low stress automotive business, it has morphed into a 25,000 sq. ft. complex with 10 full-time employees. Burnyzz’s will handle the simplest task, say change your oil, to restoring a classic muscle car, all the way to, as their moto states: “If you dream it, we’ll build it” constructing from the ground up, your hot rod vision. Additionally, they scour the country for Classic American Muscle and offer it up for sale in their showroom, capable of holding over 50 cars. To fully understand the scope of their operation, you need visit www.burnyzz.com.
A final note: Josh swears, even though a hard-core car guy/drag racer, he didn’t realize Ocala was also the home of, some might say, the King of Drag Racing, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. Several years ago, Don payed a visit to his new neighbor and he and Josh quickly formed a friendship. Gar enlisted him to assist on the Electric Swamp Rat dragster, which appears to be “Big’s” last project.
Josh Hart is indeed living the American Dream, and has earned every second of it.
ADVANCING TO THE BIG TIME – INDY TAD WINNER – JOSH HART
Published by: Drag Racing Edge, Written by: Brad Littlefield
Ocala, Fla., resident Josh Hart, had his dreams materialize by earning his first national event victory on the sport’s biggest stage.
When racing fans think of the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the first racer linked to the event is legendary “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, a fellow Ocala neighbor to Hart. His iconic performances helped shaped Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis into the hallowed grounds that every drag racer dreams of winning at. Hart will have to remove the “up-and-coming” label usually attached to his name, as an Indy win certifies that the driver of the Advance Auto Parts A/Fuel dragster has arrived.
“It was a great experience, that’s for sure,” said Hart. “We’ve been putting a lot of effort into it. After we serviced the car after the race, I jumped in the support vehicle and drove 14 hours home. I did a radio interview over the phone and thought, ‘That was pretty cool.’ I’m not big into Facebook, but I checked that and saw all the messages. It starts to sink in.”
Hart qualified with a career-best 5.18 and ran a 5.19 to defeat Seattle winner Kim Parker in the first round. He went 5.21 against kirk Wolf and 5.26 opposite Jeff Veale to set up a final against Megan Meyer, who defeated Randy Meyer Racing teammate Justin Ashley in the previous round. Hart got off the line first with an .029 reaction time and won the 5.30 to 5.36 battle. All told, Hart made the quickest run of three elimination rounds and the second-quickest run of the remaining round.
The event wasn’t all smooth sailing for the crew of leader Gene Gallant, Robert Smullen, Donald Gallant, John Kohlweiss, and Mike Marko that the numbers might make it appear. A broken crankshaft on the first qualifying attempt created concern and forced the team to work hard, but the team was up for the task.
“We broke a crank that had only one run on it on the very first qualifying pass,” said Hart. “I thought, ‘Aw, man. Here we go.’ We changed engines, and that other engine was magical. It came to life immediately.
“This goes to the team. These are all fabulous guys. They put me under their wing. I just drive.”
In addition to his crew, Hart thanked wife Brittanie, Advance Auto Parts, HLC Trucking, OWV Excavating, Modern Muscle Cars, and his “adopted family” of Dennis and Suzanne Hendershot.
The 33-year-old driver is an Indiana native who relocated to Florida with wife Brittanie in 2009 where they began their all-under-one-roof automotive center Burnyzz Speed Shop. His passion for hot rods and all things fast led him to competing with his Ford Lightning at Gainesville Raceway in 2011. He worked his way up the ranks to Top Alcohol Dragster in 2015.
Hart and crew chief Gallant took chances on each other with Gallant taking a leap of faith to work for the new driver and team owner and Hart granting Gallant, who was a mechanical force behind the success of brother and 2002 world champ Arthur for many years, his first full-fledged opportunity at being a tuner. They have had remarkable success this season with three regional event victories in the Northeast that helped them lock up the East Region championship and an Indy win that puts them in contention to battle for a national title.
“My crew chief is fabulous,” said Hart. “He’d always been on the mechanical side before, so we kind of took a chance on each other. He’d always worked under his brother, so now it’s his time to shine. The car is running good. The team is strong. If we stay with the endurance marathon, we’ll be alright.”
- 2016 Runner-Up Finish at 4-Wide Nationals
- 2016 Runner-Up Finish at Epping, NH - Lucas Oil East Region
- 2016 Winner at Atco, NJ - Lucas Oil East Region
- 2016 Winner at Bowling Green, KY - Lucas Oil North Central Region
- 2017 Winner at Lebanon Valley, NY - Lucas Oil East Region
- 2017 Winner at Epping, NH - Lucas Oil East Region
- 2017 Winner at Atco, NJ - Lucas Oil East Region
- 2017 Runner-Up at Rising Sun, MD - Lucas Oil East Region
- 2017 Winner at Indianapolis, IN - NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals
- 2017 Lucas Oil East Region Points Champion
- 2018 Winner at Atlanta, GA - NHRA Southern Nationals
- 2018 Winner at Indianapolis, IN - NHRA Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals
MEET THE TEAM
Crew Chief: Gene Gallant
Gene is a master ASE technician and has been drag racing since the early 70s; starting with Procomp and eventually racing in Top Alcohol Dragster when the class was formed with his brother Arthur. After winning the Championship in 2002 and joining up with the Fearless Racing Team in 2015, Gene is very appreciative of the people he has learned from through the years.
Clutch: Bobby Smullens
Bobby has been involved with drag racing for over 40 years from tuner, to driver, and everything in between. He even ran New England Dragway for a period of time, where he did everything from cut the grass and clean the bathrooms, to be the starter on race days.
Bottom End and Race Team Shop Manager: John Kohlweiss
John has been working with Burnyzz for seven years and has always been passionate about racing. He was invited to work with the Fearless Racing Team about three years ago. He has been working closely with our crew chief and had been an asset to the team.
Truck Driver and Assistant Mechanic: Johnnie Wynee
"Lee" has been driving big rigs since 2001. He has always had a love motorsports. He helps out with the clutch both at the race track and prepping for race weekends. When he is not drive the big rig to and from the races, he loves to spend time at home with his 10 dogs and wife.
Bottom End and Top End Mechanic: Donnie Galant
Donnie has been into drag racing since his brothers brought him into the game. Donnie has also worked with jet cars and TAD for a while now. He is the all around guy that can do just about everything needed for a race weekend. From cleaning parts to pulling heads off, he can do just about anything you ask of him. Donnie also knows his way around the kitchen and cooks for the team from time to time.
NHRA National Events
- GatorNationals March 15-18, Gainesville, Florida
- NGK 4-Wide Nationals April 27-29, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Southern Nationals May 4-6, Atlanta, Georgia
- Route 66 Nationals May 31 - June 3, Joliet, Illinois
- SummitNationals June 21-24, Norwalk, Ohio
- U.S. Nationals August 29 - September 3, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Keystone Nationals September 14-16, Maple Grove, Pennsylvania
- FallNationals October 5-7, Dallas, Texas
- Carolina Nationals October 12-14, Charlotte, North Carolina
Lucas Oil Regional Events
- East Regional #1 March 9-10, Gainesville, Florida
- East Regional #2 April 20-21, North Dinwiddie, Virginia
- East Regional #3 May 25-26, Maple Grove, Pennsylvania
- East Regional #4 June 29-July 1, Lebanon Valley, New York
- East Regional #6 August 3-4, Atco, New Jersey
- East Regional #6 August 17-18, Cecil, Maryland
- East Regional #7 September 7-8, Epping, New Hampshire
Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information about our team.Email: Fearlessracingllc@gmail.com